The Asia Cup 2022 title holders received a heroic welcome upon their arrival in their hometown. Sri Lanka won the Asian tournament against Pakistan by 23 runs on September 11 (Sunday) at the Dubai International Stadium. Sri Lanka Cricket shared the pictures of the grand reception on Twitter.
The winning team also took part in the victory parade on the streets of Colombo with the skipper Dasun Shanaka holding the trophy along with the players on a bus.
As they arrived back home, the Sri Lankan team carried out a massive road show and the people thronged the streets in large numbers. After receiving a warm welcome from several authorities at the airport itself, the Sri Lankan team began a victory parade in Colombo. The parade started from Katunayake and went on till the Colombo Normal Road, with a few halts in between.
The parade which was carried out on an open double-decker bus gave the opportunity to the local fans to see their cricketing heroes live. The win has brought a lot of smiles and joy on the faces of the local citizens as the country has been going through a lot of turmoil and as Shanaka said after the final, it was their bit to do something for the country.
Batsman Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who scored an unbeaten 71 in the final, said it was a “great win” for the country amid a severe economic crisis that has engulfed the nation for the best part of 2022.
“A couple of decades back, we had some sort of aggression in our side. And we wanted to create those moments again. I think, as a unit, we are doing that fantastically well at the moment,” he said.
“We want to look forward to the World Cup as well and to keep up this momentum. As a nation, I think it’s a great win … with all the crisis happening back home, these are tough times for Sri Lankans. We are glad and hope that we brought some smiles to their faces.”
Captain Shanaka said winning the Asia Cup will help the team’s preparation for next month’s Twenty20 World Cup, for which the team still has to qualify for.
“We played last year’s qualifiers as well … it’s the set-up that has come through from three or four years back,” Shanaka told reporters.
“The last two years were really good for us and winning Asia Cup will really help for the World Cup. The World Cup qualifiers will help as well because we will play in those conditions before the main tournament happens so it’ll be really good for us.”—Agencies